... and how could I've not to, when Nash (on behalf of himself and his beautiful wife Guro) brought me this box of Plaisir du Chocolat chocolates as a goodbye present. Plaisir du Chocolat was set up by Bertrand Espouy and Heather A Kiernan few years ago in Edinburgh, and they've now opened branches also in Manchester and Melrose. Do check them out if you're in the neighbourhood. If neither Manchester, Melrose or Edinburgh are in your future itinerary, then you can peruse their online store. If you're not convinced, then take Melissa's word for it - she's sung praise to Plaisir du Chocolat here.
Their exquisite chocolates - look at the picture! - are best consumed within a week, so I've been dutifully eating them together with K. every night. All of them have been absolutely delicious, with an exception of one or two (Manosque didn't appeal to me, for example). Plaisir du Chocolat produces two 'collections' per year - one for Christmas and one for the Edinburgh festival season. My box of chocolates are from the Collection Winter 2005-2006. Here's what we had:
Top row from left to right:
Sacher (dark chocolate, bitter almond, apricot), Mesopotamia (dark chocolate, liquorice), Sheherazade (dark chocolate, pistachio), Laphroaig (dark chocolate, malt whisky), Bounty (white chocolate, coconut)
2nd row from the top, from left to right:
Spekulatius (dark chocolate, Christmas spices, citrus fruits), Khartoum (white chocolate, hibiscus), Vienne (dark chocolate, coffee, marzipan), Brazil (white chocolate, passion fruit), Agen (dark chocolate, prune, Armagnac)
Middle row, from left to right:
Szechuan (dark chocolate, Szechuan pepper, pear), Bergamot (Single origin Java milk chocolate, Earl Grey tea), Schwarzwald (dark chocolate, Cherry and Kirsh), Addis Ababa (milk chocolate, cardamom and pineapple), Indochine (single origin Java milk chocolate, green Vietnamese tea, lotus flowers)
2nd row from the bottom, from left to right:
Tombouctou (dark chocolate, cinnamon), Zanzibar (Single origin Java milk chocolate, cloves, orange peel), Java (single origin Java milk chocolate, green Jasmine tea), Persephone (milk chocolate, pomegranate, orange), Arabesque (white chocolate, rose buds)
Bottom row, from left to right:
Sologne (dark chocolate, fresh mint leaves), Manosque (dark chocolate, dried lavender), Antilles (dark chocolate, spices /vanilla, cinnamon, citronelle, cardamom, lemon, orange, elderberry, tonka, cloves, star anis, bitter orange leaves/, Martinique rum), Piemont (gianduja hazelnut), Guérandes (soft caramel made with salted butter mixed, white couverture, vanilla)
Thank you, Guro & Nash!